Pete’s Message from Valley St. Jail
Right now I’m in the bowels of Valley Street Jail in Manchester, NH. I arrived not in a squad car but with friends. I’m sitting four days rather than hand-over the 248-FRN ransom William H. Lyons believes I owe “the state” because I had conversations with employees of Manchester Police Department.
This past June I was one of those arrested in the Chalking 8 incident. Most people assume I engaged in the heinous act of writing with non-toxic children’s chalk on a public sidewalk and building (!!!) but that’s not the case. I don’t have anything against chalking, it just wasn’t my preferred outreach method. Instead, as one-on-one dialogue can be very effective, I sought to engage with those wearing “Manchester PD” badges.
I was at the pro-police accountability rally on June 4th because the week prior the “top” law enforcement “authority” in the state concluded that four men who brutally beat another man were not to held to the same standard as would you or I due to the fact that they wear a badge. I was outside Manchester PD to voice my concern and to encourage the colleagues of those aggressors to realize that actions ‘illegitimate’ don’t suddenly become ‘legitimate’ based on ones attire.
A few hours into the pro-police accountability event I was placed in handcuffs. I (and others) had been told to get off the “crime scene” (the chalk on the sidewalk). A wall of cops had walked us back. The entire time I was having conversations with those who, despite the fact that I had harmed no person or property, claimed the authority to dictate my actions.
Once clear of the “crime scene” the entire group stopped and a pretty good dialogue was had. That continued until John Patti, approaching from the street, said “Arrest them!” causing men wearing badges who moments before were entertaining questions and asking their own, to aggress against me and the two others closest to them (Garret Ean and Charles N.). I immediately asked “What changed? We were just having a civil discussion?” The oft-cited “just doing my job” was muttered.
I was charged with a “class b misdemeanor disorderly.” Then a second. After over six months of “public official” unaccountability and kangaroo court antics, I was found “not guilty” of the disorderly’s but “guilty” of a city “violation” and ordered to pay – or else (first letters, then if ignored, men with guns).
I stand by my actions on June 4th. I am confident that I did nothing wrong. In fact I was doing something good – I was trying to hold people responsible for their rights-violating actions. Most anyone familiar with the situation will say the same.
Should I be caged for four days because I had conversations with individuals who chose to speak with me? Was it right that I was handcuffed and fingerprinted and photographed? Was it right that my cell phone was taken and never returned? Was it right that I’ve had to allocate my scarce time and resources to defend myself from these threats?
I cannot in good conscience fund a system that is both immoral (funded by theft) and inefficient (sheltered from market signals due a claimed “legitimate” right to use force).
If one looks at this situation or other situations and deems them wrong wrong but fails to act, nothing will change. And if one fails to act today, it’ll only be more difficult tomorrow.
I’ll spend four days total at Valley St. And though I really appreciate the well-wishes there’s no need to mail anything (it probably wouldn’t get to me in sucha tight time-frame anyway). That said, if you have the interest to do any of the following I’d be most-appreciative:
- become familiar with Ademo’s situation in Manchester and support where able (share links, participate in call floods, create content, give input, donations, etc). From the Chalking 8 incident: Ademo just sat four days at Valley St. rather than pay the 248-FRN ransom (for chalking aka “criminal mischief”). He is appealing his concurrent 12mo “sentence” (with 10mo stayed in lieu of two years of “good behavior”) for going limp, aka “resisting”. For more on this watch Update on Ademo’s Caging and Pending Appeal Options. From the Manchester West High School incident, when Ademo sought to hold accountable a Manchester PD school liaison employee who assaulted a student, as well as public school officials who actively attempted to censor the incident (and Cop Block literature at the school). For believing it wrong that a grown man assault a 17yr and is not held accountable, Ademo is being threatened with 21 years in a cage for three charges of felony wiretapping. For more on this watch
- support Bradley Manning. Links: Bradley Manning entry on Wikpedia, Bradley Manning Support Network
- support good people caged for breaking bad legislation. Learn more and connect via Mail to Jail and Prisoners For Liberty
- invest in yourself. Make the time to watch the video The State Is Not Great: How Government Poisons Everything by Jacob Spinney (50min) and 130+ Reasons to Move to Keene (5min)